The Summer I Grew My Bangs Out

Thursday, February 18, 2016

I remember it like it was just yesterday.

It was the summer before sixth grade. The year that I would start middle school. Gone were the days of that elementary school safety net, and soon, I would have to navigate the halls to get from class to class among hundreds of kids I had never met before. I knew it was time to give up little kid things, and along bangs. Those were first on the list.

I recall telling my mom that I was ready. I was ready to ditch the bangs that I had had for years; that had fallen like a thick sponge on my forehead. That was before hair straighteners were popular, and I thank my lucky stars those were discovered before I hit high school. High school was ugly as it was, but without a straightener...well...let's just say no picture of me would have survived from those years. 

So, thus began the summer, which I will always remember as "The Summer I Grew My Bangs Out." My mom and I were ready to tackle the beast. I was equipped with head bands, bobby pins, and butterfly clips. Ohhhhh butterfly clips. One question about those: why?? Really, just why??

We spent a lot of the summer up at my grandparents house in Rochester. I remember playing with my little brother, Drew, in the backyard. I'd spray him with the water hose and we would splash in the small baby pool filled with freezing water for hours. 

I think that was the summer I gave up playing like that, too.

Every morning, I would wake up and check the status of my bangs in the mirror. I'd pull them down straight over my eyes, thinking maybe if I tugged just enough, they'd grow a bit more. I remember being disappointed because it was just sooooo slow. (A lesson I've learned time and time again as I constantly fight the "bangs or no bangs" battle.)

By the time September rolled around, my bangs were just long enough to clip to the sides. They still looked horrendous, mind you. The funny thing is, I distinctly remember walking into my new building that first day of school, and I noticed that were a lot of girls just like me: bangs pinned back after a summer of growth. I'm sure they had spent their summer in front of their mirrors, tugging at that hair just like I had. 

When do we grow up like that? It's taken me years to look back at that moment, and be able to pinpoint it as such. An "Oh, there you go. You changed a little bit" moment.

What made me think of this? Well, as of late, S has been telling us that she was ready to grow her bangs out. She'd constantly push them away from her eyes, and it would make me cringe because her bangs pushed to the side like that just looked a little...well, let's just say, not my favorite look. Part of me was sad because she's had bangs since her very first haircut. I love that they still make her look like my little girl. By getting rid of the bangs, I thought I'd have to just give in to the fact that my little girl was getting older.

But! But! Today she told me she wanted me to trim her bangs. You better believe I raced her upstairs and pulled out those scissors in about ten seconds flat. Which, let me tell you, is quite the feat these days because I can barely walk up the stairs without getting winded!

And what's best is she was so excited about it! When I finished, she asked if she could look in the mirror. She took one look at herself and giggled. "They look beautiful!" she said. For the rest of the day, I caught her looking at herself in the mirror a few times, and very gently laying her bangs flat.

Girl, whenever you're ready to outgrow those things (bangs, getting tucked into bed, nose kisses, holding hands in public, etc.) I can't guarantee that I'll be one hundred percent on board. I can't guarantee one hundred percent that I won't stop trying to reach for your hand. But you better believe I'll still one hundred percent love you no matter what.

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